Roasted Squash Mini Tarts with Maple Whipped Cream

If you’re done with cooking pie from the can, I’m here to say, it isn’t actually that hard. While I’m not too highbrow to use Libby’s Pumpkin Purée, I don’t typically use it for my special occasion desserts. These roasted squash tarts are an easy way to use local, organic ingredients that make really killer treats.

I made this recipe for the person who could eat the entire pie themselves (me!) but is really focussing on portion control (also me!). It’s also for the person who just likes really cute, minis versions of things (this is more like my roommate).

pumpkin tarts

These tarts are so easy to make, when I was developing the recipe, I literally was winging it and the first try came out perfect.

 Only slightly hard photographing food now that I’m a kitten mom.

Only slightly hard photographing food now that I’m a kitten mom.

Made with organic ingredients and zero canned product, these are the perfect little desserts for a small family gathering, Friendsgiving or just a good old autumnal baked-good for everyday life.

Yield: 9 mini tarts

Tart Shells

  • 1 1/4 cups of AP flour

  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 cup of cold grated salted butter

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Filling

  • 1 large kabocha squash, roasted

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tsps cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger

  • 1/2 tsp clove

  • 1/2 tsp all spice

  • 1/8 tsp cardamom

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 2 TBSP sweetened condensed milk

  • 3/4 cup rice or almond milk

Maple Whipped Cream

  • Cold Heavy Whipping Cream

  • Maple Syrup

baking

Assembly

Part One | mixing and getting dirty

  1. Start by cutting the squash in half, gutting out the seeds and sprinkling with salt. Place skin side down to roast on parchment paper in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.

  2. While the squash is roasting, start the tart dough. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and grate the cold butter into the bowl.

  3. Begin to cut the butter into the flour, you can do this many ways, however, I stick to a pasty dough blender and my hands.

  4. Once the dough is looking more like course meal with flaky bits of flour-coated butter you can now add the vanilla and egg, mixing the dough until everything is fully incorporated and you have a cohesive dough.

  5. Shape the dough into a round cylinder, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour (can be made ahead and held for a few days).

  6. Once the squash has been roasted, I like to flip it so it faces upward and roast for 5 - 10 minutes longer to get some color on the flesh.

  7. Once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the skin and puree it in a blender, food processor or mash it to heck.

  8. Whisk in the brown sugar, spices and eggs until fully incorporated.

  9. Add vanilla, milk and sweetened condensed milk and whisk until it’s a smooth, even emulsion.

  10. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge or rest on the table.

    Part Two | shape & bake

 It’s not that I don’t think rolling-pins are important, I just don’t currently have one and Vodka bottles actually work very well.

It’s not that I don’t think rolling-pins are important, I just don’t currently have one and Vodka bottles actually work very well.

  1. Using tarts shells or muffin tins, cut enough dough to roll out and cover your baking surfaces.

  1. Once covered, dock the pie dough (poke the base with a fork so that little holes appear) - this allows for air to escape so your pastry doesn’t puff-up.

  2. I like to put these tins in the freezer so that the dough holds up better while it bakes.

  3. After 5 - 10 minutes in the freezer, put little bits of parchment into the tart shells and fill with pie weights, uncooked rice or uncooked beans to weigh them down - this also helps the dough from rising.

  4. Bake in the oven, set to 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

  5. Remove pie weights and parchment and set the oven to 350 degrees.

  6. Fill each blind-baked tart shell with the squash filling and bake for 20 minutes.

  7. While the tarts are cooling, whip-up desired amount of heavy whipping cream, and once whipped, fold in maple syrup until sweetened to your liking (nothing like constantly tasting whipped cream until you get it juuuust right).

  8. Remove tarts from their shells, top with whipped cream and you’re ready to party

  • optional drizzle of sweetened condensed milk over the top - I’m personally a big fan

squash tart

If you have extras, wrap tarts, sans whip, individually with plastic wrap and leave on the counter. They’ll keep for a few days and make for very nice office desserts.

Saluti.